House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Madam Speaker, I was riveted as I listened to the speech of the hon. member. He spoke glowingly of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. It struck me as a little odd. As I was listening to him I was also looking at some past issues of Hansard from 2000. I note the hon. member had this to say:

I was appalled at the recent national Liberal convention, which I attended as an observer for my party. I also was a commentator for CBC and CTV. I was there for the weekend and I felt a bit like an undercover rabbi at a PLO conference.

He went on to say:

It was an interesting experience, to say the least, but the fact is that what I learned disappointed me about the leadership of the Liberal Party at this time. Frankly, I had expected that the Prime Minister would have had a better idea of where the world was going...

The member said that when Chrétien was the prime minister. Could he could explain the change in his views since then?

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, that reminds me of the time when John Maynard Keynes was involved in a debate and his opponents said, “Mr. Keynes, your view on monetary policy has changed dramatically over the last 20 years because 20 years ago this is what you said on monetary policy”. Keynes said, “Well, sir, the facts have changed and when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

The facts are the Chrétien government and the Martin government understood the importance of China and India, as did the Mulroney government, as did the Diefenbaker government and the Trudeau government. The only government of any political stripe in Canada over the last 40 years to not understand the importance of engaging China has been the current Conservative government. It has betrayed a bipartisan commitment to engagement of China in developing Canadian jobs in China.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the member was asked by my colleague, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster, about hearings at committee stage and he did not answer the question.

Is the member in favour of hearings at the committee stage so a variety of presenters can come and have their say?

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Absolutely, Madam Speaker. I will be looking forward to committee and to hearing from witnesses and hearing the potential impact that the agreement can have on the people of Jordan and the people of Canada in terms of the economic and social impact on both countries.

This is something we have done, for instance, at committee with the Canada-Colombia agreement. The overwhelming evidence is that the Canada-Colombia FTA will strengthen and improve the lives of Colombians, their economic opportunities and their rights and securities.

This is the kind of information we garner when we actually listen to witnesses with an open mind, as opposed to badgering them with ideological rhetoric, as has been the case with the NDP when witnesses appear.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques has the floor. I just want to let him know that he can begin his remarks, but that I will have to interrupt him at 2 p.m.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is the only party on Parliament Hill that truly defends the interests of Quebeckers, and it is the only party that has remained faithful to its values and principles. We are the only party with integrity.

The provisions of Bill C-57, to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, are such that the members of the Bloc Québécois can vote in favour of the agreement.

However, we want to express some criticisms that we hope will be taken into account and will help the Conservative Party and maybe even the Liberal Party change their approach. Despite the fact that we support Bill C-57, we feel that the Conservatives are wrong to negotiate bilateral agreements at the expense of multilateral agreements.

Why do we support this bill? Despite the fact that Jordan is, quite frankly, a small trading partner, an agreement with the country is in Quebec's best interests. In this time of economic turmoil, with a forestry industry in crisis, this agreement can give private woodlot owners and the forestry industry in Quebec a leg up.

The Conservative government's refusal to help the forestry sector as much as it helped Ontario's automotive sector is doing nothing of course to improve the situation facing thousands of workers who have been hit hard by the current forestry crisis.

Considering the fact that out of the $35 million worth that Quebec exports to Jordan, $25 million comes from the pulp and paper sector, the agreement in question would allow us to maintain this situation, for one, as well as offer new opportunities to our pulp and paper producers and to our private woodlot owners, of whom there are 130,000 in Quebec. It is also important to consider the fact that our trade balance with Jordan is in Quebec's favour.

Unlike Bill C-23, which we have been discussing for quite some time now in the House, that is, the free trade agreement between Canada and the Republic of Colombia, the agriculture that goes on in Jordan does not present a threat to Quebec farmers. The proof is that the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec, of which I was once president for my region, supports this bill. However, despite the fact that natural ground and surface waters, in their liquid, gas or solid form, are excluded from the agreement by the enabling statute, the Bloc Québécois noted that this exclusion is not written into the text of the agreement itself.

That is why the Bloc Québécois would like to ensure that Quebec's major water resources are clearly excluded from the agreement, so that control over their development remains in the hands of Quebeckers and the Quebec nation.

Considering that Canada has already entered into a trade agreement with Israel, signing a similar agreement with a neighbouring country, whose relations with Israel can be difficult, would help show a certain balance in interests in the Middle East region.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques. He will have approximately fifteen and a half minutes when debate resumes on this bill.

Statements by members. The hon. member for Huron—Bruce.

Discover Canada Guide
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Huron—Bruce, ON

Madam Speaker, I stand in the House today to pay tribute to Canada's new immigration study guide, launched by the hon. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism last Thursday.

Titled “Discover Canada”, the new guide is a vast improvement over its predecessor. With its emphasis toward a greater understanding of Canada's history, values, symbols and important Canadian institutions, the new guide serves as a valuable resource, not only for prospective Canadians, but for current Canadians as well. The guide also highlights the sacrifices made by Canada's veterans and promotes a deeper understanding of Canada's identity.

This fall, Huron—Bruce was named one of the most patriotic ridings in Canada. Last week, the people of Huron—Bruce were once again proud to be Canadian with the launch of the new immigration guide.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, I stand today to again request the government to establish the infrastructure to assist in the development, domestic use and export of clean wind energy on P.E.I.

Shamefully, the Prime Minister cancelled a signed agreement of the previous government, including $32 million to fund a Northumberland Strait energy cable. However, today's reality should allow the Prime Minister to reconsider.

With the Copenhagen conference emphasizing sound environmental policy, a cable to allow the movement of surplus wind energy would blunt the criticism of the government's tragic environmental record. Better yet, the province has endorsed an energy strategy utilizing wind to create clean energy and an improved economy.

Three years have been lost. However, the opportunity still exists to partner with P.E.I. to develop clean energy for domestic and export use. I appeal to the Prime Minister to fund this excellent economic opportunity.

Marc Lacroix
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the ingenuity, creativity and especially the perseverance of Marc Lacroix, a new resident and young entrepreneur of the town of Huntingdon.

Mr. Lacroix is an artist and promoter who created a game that comes highly recommended in the 2010 toy guide of the Protégez-Vous magazine. This game was designed to teach children between 8 and 14 how to draw and paint using a step-by-step approach.

Fourteen students from the Châteauguay Valley Regional High School are involved in the production of this game, which is assembled at the Huntingdon factory.

Huntingdon has faced many textile plant closures and is coming through with flying colours. I must commend the dynamism of this young entrepreneur who is contributing to the economic development of the town of Huntingdon through his leadership and his commitment to his community.

Congratulations Mr. Lacroix.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, Food Bank Canada's HungerCount 2009 report stated that Canadians' use of food banks has swelled by almost 17%. That is 800,000 people who depend on food banks, including almost 300,000 children. This is the largest increase recorded in Canadian history and it represents a severe condemnation of the failed economic policies of the government.

Government members need to understand that the recession is not just about decreased profit margins, it is also about real families across Canada struggling to feed their children.

In my hometown of Hamilton, this increase means that over 22,000 people are now relying on food banks.

The report included recommendations to implement a national poverty prevention strategy, to improve our EI system and to increase the GIS for low income seniors.

Food banks are not the cure; they are just a temporary relief from the symptoms. The disease is poverty, and it is made worse by the inaction of the government.

Wedding Anniversary Congratulations
Statements By Members

November 19th, 2009 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, constituents, Harry and Femmy Slagter, are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.

They came from Holland and theirs was a case of love at first sight. Harry joined the navy but still had a year to serve. He promised Femmy he would follow her. At the age of 21, he waved goodbye to his family and set sail for Canada. A two year courtship followed.

On November 19, 1954, they began their journey together as husband and wife. In 1959, they moved their growing family to Calgary. Harry is a welder who graduated with honours. Femmy won medals in speed skating, served as a nurse and also worked for Harry Strom, the former premier of Alberta.

Harry and Femmy's children have all married and are busy raising families. The Slagter family consists of 10 children, 51 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and 20 spouses of children and grandchildren for a total of 110, and growing.

Harry and Femmy Slagter attend the Bethel United Reformed Church and are blessed to know the word of the Lord.

Nelson Mandela International Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela becoming an honorary citizen of Canada in an historic ceremony eight years ago today, I said in the House:

Nelson Mandela is a metaphor and message of the long march toward freedom, of the struggle against racism and hate, and of the struggle for human rights, human dignity, democracy and peace.

This honorary citizenship will have a historic and inspiring resonance for Canadians, for good relations between Canada and Africa, and for...our common humanity.

I am sure all members of this House will join me today in expressing our delight that the United Nations General Assembly has decided to mark July 18, Mandela's birthday, as Nelson Mandela International Day so that on this day, Canada, in concert with the other members of the international community and people of the world, can recognize and reaffirm the enduring contribution of this great humanitarian to the general welfare of humanity.

Danielle's Place Eating Disorder Support and Resource Centre
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the volunteers and staff at Danielle's Place Eating Disorder Support and Resource Centre, in Halton, who have improved the lives of hundreds of patients and families.

Danielle Mayeur lost her battle with anorexia in September 2001 at age 25 in a health care system that did not understand this complex and dangerous disease, but her vision of a place of compassionate and humane services for the sufferers of eating disorders was founded after her death by her mother, Carolyn.

Danielle's place has served over 1,500 clients, ages 10 to 65, who come from all over southern Ontario.

I especially acknowledge Dr. Randy Staab, Dr. Les Greenberg and Dr. Joanne Dolhanty at Credit Valley Hospital who use the innovative practice of emotion focused therapy. They are successfully helping patients reverse the debilitating symptoms of anorexia.

With the help of Danielle's Place and these medical pioneers, people with eating disorders need not suffer alone and now have real hope for a healthier future.

World March for Peace and Nonviolence
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, as part of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, students from the Chêne-Bleu and Soulanges secondary schools in my riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges will march two kilometres to encourage us to adhere to the charter for a world without violence.

This march is the initiative of World Without Wars, an international organization, and the humanist movement, in partnership with organizations and personalities around the world, and calls for an end to all wars, the dismantling of nuclear weapons and an end to all forms of violence. On November 11, 2009, at the summit of Nobel peace laureates in Berlin, the world march was given the title of emissary for the charter for a world without violence. The march organizers promised to disseminate this charter throughout the world.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I want to congratulate the students at the Soulanges and Chêne-Bleu secondary schools for their efforts, which inspire us all to commit to a world without violence.